PDA

View Full Version : Passes for people with physical disabilities



Pages : [1] 2 3

I Heart Disneyland!
10-04-2004, 11:01 PM
I wondered if anyone else has come across this problem. I have an illness which causes me a great deal of pain in my muscles and joints and I cannot stand for more than about 15 minutes at a time, therefore, I get a medical letter from my doctor, to take to City Hall, to get a special pass to NOT stand in line for an hour....because I can't. :( Here's what I have seen, parents WITH their kids in tow, going to the City Hall to get a "medical pass" for their NON-physically challenged kids! It makes me so mad to see them abusing this system. I actually bring a letter FROM MY DOCTOR to tell them what I need, and I see these able bodied people come in there to get their Special Assistance Pass for no reason. I actually saw a mom telling her son to go and get in a wheelchair to help their cause!!! Isn't there some system that prevents EVERYONE from abusing this system that helps those of us that DO have a valid illness?? :(

BJW
10-05-2004, 01:28 AM
The way I understand the current system a doctor's note is not necessary and if you have a wheelchair you do not need a pass. If you do need a pass it only allows a limited number of conveniences like being able to bypass steep grades and stairs. They no longer allow anyone to go to the front of the line for endurance issues but will allow use of elevators or alternate routes in place of stairs or steep grades. I do not in any way agree with this new system but have learned to get used to it as I take two disabled people to the parks quite frequently.

The specific cases I can think of are the Fantasyland dark rides which require that you board through the exit (lines won't support wheelchairs), Pirates which requires that you use the alternate dock to the right of the exit (line has steep grades), and Indy with the elevator that allows you to bypass the section of the que with stairs. I know there's a few others that are the same way. The DCA attractions all have wheelchair accessible ques so they work better if you use fastpass instead of trying to maneuver a wheelchair all the way through the lines. Hope that helps.

As to what you said about people abusing the system. This is sickening. They are the ones that got all of the conveniences we used to have taken away and are still trying to abuse it. Unfortunately, the current system seems to have no method of verification as they usually don't try to verify an illness. They're afraid of getting sued for discrimination. My grandmother and aunt have a problem similar to yours and they can't stand or walk for long periods of time either so I know how you feel, it can be frustrating sometimes.

If you want to know the specifics of the current system (the "GAC") I'm sure there's others here who can explain it better than me because we just get the wheelchair which allows us to bypass getting the pass itself. However, I hear there are several levels of conveniences you can get based on your level of needs. Let us know what kind of response you get at city hall next time you go in. I'm interested.

sdfilmcritic
10-05-2004, 02:30 AM
I feel quilty. Years ago during the off-season a friend of mine had invited me and some other people to visit Knott's. She expected six or seven people to be in the group on the day of our visit, but only three of us could make it. The third person in the group was having minor back problems and was worried about moving around all day. We rented a wheelchair and I pushed her around the whole day. It was great fun and I had a blast. But we did take advantage of the "go through the exit with a wheelchair" routine. I do feel quilty about abusing the system, but it was a great day of fun at the park.

Now... one with the whipping and abuse.

teri
10-05-2004, 06:17 AM
sdfilmcritic, I do not consider what you did to be abuse. If the park did not have a system for wheelchair access other than an alternative entrance, and your friend is honestly not able to manage the queues, then as far as I am concerned you did nothing wrong. Now, if your friend had taken a wheelchair in order to jump the lines without a valid medical reason, then yes, that is abuse. But the idea of keeping parties together *used to be* considered good customer service.

Disney practically eliminated the SAP and took the hard line, their gate revenues dropped precipitously. For some reason they think the lost good will and lost revenue is worth it -- they seem to have something to prove. Everybody's loss as far as I am concerned.

I Heart Disneyland, what you may think is an able-bodied person getting a wheelchair may be someone with a hidden disability, or one who has endurance issues. Don't be so quick to judge.

adriennek
10-05-2004, 09:39 AM
I Heart Disneyland, what you may think is an able-bodied person getting a wheelchair may be someone with a hidden disability, or one who has endurance issues. Don't be so quick to judge.

What Teri said. You beat me to it.

Yes, there are people who abuse the system but just because an issue isn't visible doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

Adrienne

AliciasMom
10-05-2004, 09:53 AM
I remember getting dirty looks like I was a "faker" when I had to rent a wheelchair for the day. I did not appreciate that. I fainted twice in the park the first 1/2 hour I was there due to being in my first trimester of pregnancy. We had just spent 100 bucks on two one-day passes. That's a lot of money! Thank goodness for the kind CM who suggested we rent a wheelchair. I just felt that since people assumed I looked normal that I was abusing the system even though I only went on a total of five rides that day (HM, POTC, PeterPan, IASW, Mr Toads).

downtownamybrown
10-05-2004, 10:11 AM
Please don't forget not all handicaps are "physical." My son is severly autistic but what a Q-T Pie. I feel really bad when I get the evil stare and really wish those people could walk in my shoes for a day.

mad4mky
10-05-2004, 01:30 PM
. I feel really bad when I get the evil stare and really wish those people could walk in my shoes for a day.

I get some of the same stares when I bring my daughter with Down syndrome to the parks and use the GAC. The people who do the evil stares...just have no clue, do they? :(

teri
10-05-2004, 01:48 PM
They have no clue how ugly THEY look.

LisaB
10-05-2004, 04:48 PM
I get some of the same stares when I bring my daughter with Down syndrome to the parks and use the GAC. The people who do the evil stares...just have no clue, do they? :(

Us too (son with Down Syndrome) - I'm shy about using the pass because I do feel guilty. So we only used it when we REALLY have a problem.

But I have to admit it felt good when, after we were waiting at the alternate entrance to Dumbo and getting dirty looks, to see the look of shock on those same faces after we board the ride and Connor removes his hat. You see, he is also totally bald (alopecia). The look of shock on those folks faces is priceless. They can't see the Downs, but the bald head clues them in that something is wrong (even though the Alopecia itself doesn't cause any problems).

Like someone said - let them walk in our shoes for a day.

LisaB
4 weeks from tomorrow!! Just me and Connor!

adriennek
10-05-2004, 06:08 PM
Us too (son with Down Syndrome) - I'm shy about using the pass because I do feel guilty. So we only used it when we REALLY have a problem.

Disclaimer: none of my children have special needs. I "just" have friends I love who have special needs.

I would like to say you shouldn't feel guilty. Not that my opinion should matter to you at all, but when I interviewed M4M about taking her daughter to DLR, I learned so much about Down and the thing is- the GAC won't just help your son when he needs it, but it will help him maintain his energy level before he "needs" it- help him last better throughout his trip.

I probably have no business giving you my opinion, but I wanted to voice some support, so hopefully it sounds supportive not pushy ;)

Adrienne

LisaB
10-06-2004, 02:44 PM
Thanks for your support Adrienne. I know there are lots of abuses of the system, so it is good to know there are folks out there who understand.

Lisa

kaybee2
10-06-2004, 03:36 PM
Here's what I have seen, parents WITH their kids in tow, going to the City Hall to get a "medical pass" for their NON-physically challenged kids! It makes me so mad to see them abusing this system. (

I Heart Disneyland, I hear your frustration...and sorry that the way the system is set up makes it difficult for you.

I can tell you as a parent of a kid with high-functioning autism, that the GAC is an absolute godsend and is the only thing that makes it able for us to visit a place that can get as crowded as Disneyland. Please know that not all disibilities are physically obvious, and for my son's condition, Disneyland is the best park at accomodating his needs. We're not all abusing the system, you just don't know that there is something wrong with our kiddos at first glance.

For those that mentioned the stares...here's my favorite thing to do: I smile at the starer and say hi. They usually respond with something like, "Well, I'd sure like to have one of THOSE passes," to which I tell them that I would trade them the pass and the autism that goes with it in a heartbeat. They just don't know, and I try to look at what I'm saying as a positive way to teach them not to make rush judgements. May not work, but it sure makes me feel better!

Karen

Hakuna Makarla
10-06-2004, 04:07 PM
Please don't forget not all handicaps are "physical." My son is severly autistic but what a Q-T Pie. I feel really bad when I get the evil stare and really wish those people could walk in my shoes for a day.
Hon I do I know how you feel. One day I was at walmart and my son was throwing a huge tantrum. Some woman leaned over to another and said "what a brat ! if he was mine I would bust his ***, well I flew in to a rage and said" if I was not a good person I would bust yours! How dare people just assume my son is spoiled or a brat! the nerve :eek: I just go about my day and think, to my self, I am luck to have experienced my son, and to know how he feels. I now have more compassion for other moms who has kids throwing tantrums. and surly for moms wioth Autistic children.Maybe the person in front of me with the screaming child is also Autistic.Beau has calmed down so much, but there is still times he is upset But I am glad its getting better but when he was younger he threw tantrums all day, some times I think just to hear him self scream :). It was trying times, and my nerves were a wreck, but I think going thru this has made me stronger and less rattled by every day stuff.:D

I Heart Disneyland!
10-06-2004, 11:55 PM
I feel quilty. Years ago during the off-season a friend of mine had invited me and some other people to visit Knott's. She expected six or seven people to be in the group on the day of our visit, but only three of us could make it. The third person in the group was having minor back problems and was worried about moving around all day. We rented a wheelchair and I pushed her around the whole day. It was great fun and I had a blast. But we did take advantage of the "go through the exit with a wheelchair" routine. I do feel quilty about abusing the system, but it was a great day of fun at the park.

Now... one with the whipping and abuse.


30 lashes with a wet noodle! ;) You did nothing wrong, no need for guilt! You were a nice friend to push the person in the wheelchair....so....you are to be guilt free!!!

I Heart Disneyland!
10-06-2004, 11:58 PM
Please don't forget not all handicaps are "physical." My son is severly autistic but what a Q-T Pie. I feel really bad when I get the evil stare and really wish those people could walk in my shoes for a day.


AMEN to what you just said! I get the evil eye too, because you can't SEE that I have a physical problem, it's all in my joints and muscles, and at times, you would never know unless it's an especially terrible day and I am limping around. People are so judgmental, it's awful. I've often felt I wished that someone could walk in my shoes for a day too, but, I wouldn't wish one of my bad painful days to anyone...not even my evil boss at work! ha! ;)

I Heart Disneyland!
10-07-2004, 12:02 AM
Hon I do I know how you feel. One day I was at walmart and my son was throwing a huge tantrum. Some woman leaned over to another and said "what a brat ! if he was mine I would bust his ***, well I flew in to a rage and said" if I was not a good person I would bust yours! How dare people just assume my son is spoiled or a brat! the nerve :eek: I just go about my day and think, to my self, I am luck to have experienced my son, and to know how he feels. I now have more compassion for other moms who has kids throwing tantrums. and surly for moms wioth Autistic children.Maybe the person in front of me with the screaming child is also Autistic.Beau has calmed down so much, but there is still times he is upset But I am glad its getting better but when he was younger he threw tantrums all day, some times I think just to hear him self scream :). It was trying times, and my nerves were a wreck, but I think going thru this has made me stronger and less rattled by every day stuff.:D

Just so that you have hope....one of my family members also had severe autism and he is now a fully functioning adult man who is a clothing designer in New York City! :) All things are possible! Take care...and I love that you flew off the handle at the person at the store, they have no clue. God bless!

I Heart Disneyland!
11-19-2004, 03:48 PM
What Teri said. You beat me to it.

Yes, there are people who abuse the system but just because an issue isn't visible doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

Adrienne

I AM one of those people! To look at me, you'd never know I have a physical problem....so....I am NOT judging anyone! I am one of them! :crying:

daveinMN
11-19-2004, 04:46 PM
I love it when people stare at me for parking in the Handicapped Parking spot, then the looks on thier faces when I get out, hobble around to the back of my van with my cane, and open up the tailgate to reveal my scooter. That look can be priceless, and then indignation on thier part often turns into curiosity to see how my "Crane" gets my scooter out. The only time I get embarrassed is when people insist I go ahead of them in some kind of line, or try to open a door for me. I really appreciate that they make the effort, but thru lots of practice I can open up most any door by myself, but I am NEVER rude about that. Thank God that some people care enough not to just watch you struggle. That doesnt Always happen, like the time we were in Olde Sacramento and my scooter ran out of energy while I was trying to go up a curb cut. I was stuck, and people were just looking at me like I was an annoyance, and no one would help me get up the rest of the way. THAT was terrible! But at Disneyland I had excellent CM and guest contacts. Same with Knott's. anyway, I am on Percocet right now so I may be rambling, I will now release the forum back to the public...


Dave

LisaB
12-08-2004, 04:10 PM
I too am disgusted by folks who abuse the system. But I am one of those who has a child that appears completely able-bodied, but does use a wheelchair at the parks. And I get the GAC, although rarely need to use it when we have the wheelchair and take advantage of the fast pass system. Why is my son using a wheelchair? He has Down Syndrome, and the accompanying low muscule tone. The 10 minutes that I am in Guest Relations getting my GAC, or the 5 minutes I'm in line waiting to rent a wheelchair, are at the beginning of the day when he is fresh and has done almost no walking. So you might see him running and jumping like any other child who is impatiently waiting. But follow us for a while when he is walking - you will see him have to sit and rest, and then be out of energy for the day. We also have the issue of him not understanding social protocol - so sometimes a long wait is too much. On our last trip, we tried Pirates of the Carribean, just going thru the normal line (it does accomodate wheelchairs). It was about a 45 minute wait. By the time we got close enough we could see the loading area, he'd had too much waiting. So that was it. He was tired of waiting, so he refused to ride. The irony was that on POC, there is no escape hatch, so we had to wait even longer for an escort out. But that's the way his little mind works.

Thanks for listening to me vent. It's just that I'm afraid "fakers" are going to hurt those of us who really do need assistance, and others are angry at us.

LisaB

LisaB
12-08-2004, 04:17 PM
OK everyone - it's been a while since I've had time to browse the board. My post a few minutes ago was in response to the email that started this thread - not the recent discussion. I was thinking backwards!

Sorry,
Lisa

kbanmen
12-08-2004, 04:23 PM
I have seen soooooo many people abuse the system though..but I agree there are people who need a disabled pass and show no signs of being disabled..my step son is one of them (we dont see him much anymore as he is 19) and wants nothing to do with his dad or me..just wants to live with mom, but thats another story..

he has CP but doesnt look like it..people would come up to us years ago and say he isnt disabled..he is..he does walk with a liimp..at DL we would get him a wheelchair because he couldnt walk for that length of time..and when we would get the wheelchair people would say that to us..

QueenAlisha
12-08-2004, 04:55 PM
We will be renting a wheel chair this coming weekend for my best friend who has had knee sugery on both knees and has severe asthma. I am hoping we will not run into to many rude people and dirty looks. But i am preparing myself (as is she) for it. we get the looks when we use the handicap spots at the mall, i think more so because she is overweight due to the steroids that she takes to stay alive. Sometimes i just want to scream at people and tell them to just ask why we are using it, insted of givng us dirty looks and head shakes! its so frustrating for me, i can only imange what its like for her as well as you guys and your kids. They need to start teaching manners in school.

Stupid_American
12-08-2004, 05:22 PM
I really doubt you'll get "looks" from too many people.
Disneyland seems to lend itself to tolerance.
Be sure to stop by City Hall to pick up a Guest Assistance Card.

kbanmen
12-08-2004, 06:01 PM
disney is pretty good..but sometimes you just get that 1 rude person..and I HATE THAT